Integrity is an evaluation of values, attitudes and work ethic. Integrity is influenced by decisions and therefore can be subject to change. Personality on the other hand, is a reflection of our nature and thus cannot change. A person cannot be held responsible for specific personality traits, but can be held responsible for their work-based integrity and ethical behaviour.
Crime tends to escalate in tough economic climates - especially commercial crime such as fraud and theft. People get retrenched, companies put moratoriums on the appointment of people, and salaries may be cut or bonuses not paid when companies begin to suffer. As a result, people grow more desperate.
Peer pressure, technological advances, and financial greed also lead to fraudulent behaviour, beginning with the giving of false information on CVs or during the application process. Enterprises across the world annually lose billions – often with devastating effects – through white-collar crimes such as theft and fraud, substance abuse, truancy, and resultant disciplinary investigations.
Integrity assessments introduce a proactive approach towards selecting employees who are not only competent and effective, but who also have the integrity and dedication required to build a successful company.
Current research shows that integrity assessment is one of the best predictors of overall work performance and that it is more accurate than personality assessment in identifying counterproductive behaviour.
Aside from high risk environments and job functions, organisations should be encouraged to create a culture of integrity in the workplace, and therefore integrity testing should arguably be used for all roles.
Whilst Integrity testing carries with it a tone of suspicion and fear to some, it is highly recommended that the client adopt a proactive approach in which potential candidates are informed that their integrity (including aspects such as criminal and disciplinary records, as well as past fraudulent behaviour) will be assessed as a prerequisite to thorough pre-employment screening. Moreover, this in itself might serve to deter unwanted people (often in desperate financial positions) from applying in the first place.